Four Pleasant Hill players named to Class 1A all-state team; Central’s Miller, QND’s Bunte, two from Liberty also honored

McKinley Lowe, left, and Ava Wombles | Shane Hulsey photos

QUINCY — Four players who helped the Pleasant Hill softball team reach a sectional championship game for the first time in school history recently received all-state honors. Senior pitcher McKinley Lowe and junior outfielder and pitcher Ava Wombles each made the Illinois Coaches Association Class 1A all-state first team. Lowe tossed three no-hitters and carried…

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Wolves set bar high, create expectations for future softball players to chase

Pleasant Hill softball coach Ryan Lowe, left, hugs his daughter, McKinley, following the Wolves' 1-0 loss to Illini Bluffs in last Saturday's Class 1A sectional championship game in Glasford, Ill. | Shane Hulsey photo

GLASFORD, Ill. — Ryan Lowe’s sunglasses hid his tears, but anyone listening could hear the angst in his voice. The Pleasant Hill softball coach couldn’t hold back the emotion as he addressed his team following the Wolves’ 1-0 loss to Illini Bluffs in the Class 1A Glasford Sectional title game on Saturday. “You’ve built something…

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Wolves end Ducks’ seventh-inning rally with play at plate to advance to sectional title game

Pleasant Hill catcher Makenna Winchell drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run as the Wolves rallied for a 5-4 victory over Havana in the Class 1A Illini Bluffs Sectional semifinals in Glasford, Ill. | Shane Hulsey photo

GLASFORD, Ill. — As the runner came down the third-base line and the throw sailed in from right field with both destined to meet at home plate, Pleasant Hill softball coach Ryan Lowe momentarily held his breath. Most everyone else did, too. “Oh, my goodness,” Lowe said. “It was that way the whole game.” Kaitlyn…

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Breakfast of champions: Sweet treats, hot bats carry Wolves to third regional title in four years

Pleasant Hill first baseman Jade Peebles celebrates the Wolves' 15-0 victory over Camp Point Central in Saturday's championship game of the Class 1A Camp Point Regional. | Shane Hulsey photo

CAMP POINT, Ill. — The Pleasant Hill softball team received a special delivery on the way to Saturday morning’s Class 1A Camp Point Regional championship game. “The Fourth of July committee in Pleasant Hill was selling donuts at the four-way stop, and I guess they saw the bus getting ready and they said, ‘Stop by…

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Not this time: Wolves get revenge on Mustangs, advance to regional championship game

Pleasant Hill's Ava Wombles is greeted at home plate after belting a three-run home run in the second inning of Wednesday's Class 1A regional semifinal victory over Mendon Unity in Camp Point, Ill. | Shane Hulsey photo

CAMP POINT, Ill. — It was deja vu for the Pleasant Hill softball team ahead of their Class 1A Camp Point Regional semifinal game against Mendon Unity on Wednesday. The Wolves’ 2022 season ended in a 13-inning loss to Unity in the regional semifinals in Camp Point when Pleasant Hill was the No. 1 seed…

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Photo gallery: Pleasant Hill, Camp Point Central advance to regional softball championship

Camp Point Central third baseman Rebekkah Waterkotte, right, awaits the pitch during Wednesday's Class 1A regional semifinal against Southeastern at Camp Point, Ill. | Shane Hulsey photo

CAMP POINT, Ill. — The Camp Point Central softball team walked off with a 5-4 victory over Southeastern in Wednesday’s semifinals of the Class 1A Camp Point Regional, while top-seeded Pleasant Hill rolled to a 12-2 victory over Mendon Unity. The Panthers and Wolves will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday for the regional championship. Muddy…

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Around the area: Blue Devils share WB6 tennis title, Pirates fall in districts, Wolves win one-run marathon

The Quincy High School boys tennis team shared the Western Big 6 Conference championship with Rock Island Alleman. | Submitted photo

GENESEO, Ill. — The Quincy High School boys tennis team made its lead last at the Western Big 6 Conference championships despite the continued dominance of Rock Island Alleman junior Nick Patrick. The Blue Devils placed two singles players in top four and the doubles tandem of Anderson Knapp and Jason Derian finished third, giving…

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Lowe outduels Bunte, Sidwell delivers go-ahead double as Wolves beat Raiders in extra innings

Pleasant Hill's Maddie Sidwell celebrates after hitting a two-run double in the eighth inning of the Wolves' 5-2 victory over Quincy Notre Dame on Saturday at The Backyard. | Shane Hulsey photo

QUINCY — Maddie Sidwell won the deciding battle, and the Pleasant Hill softball team won the war. Sidwell’s bases-clearing double with two outs in the top of the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and propelled the Wolves to a 5-2 win over Quincy Notre Dame in the QND Softball Slam at The Backyard on…

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Photo gallery: Competitive games highlight QND softball slam at The Backyard

Pittsfield's Lila Simon barehands a ball during Saturday's action at The Backyard at Quincy Notre Dame. | Shane Hulsey photo

QUINCY — The rain stayed away Saturday, which led to a competitive day of softball at The Backyard as four area teams took part in the Quincy Notre Dame softball slam. Muddy River Sports Writer Shane Hulsey spent time at The Backyard and put together this photo gallery:

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Prairie State Profile: Lowe, Wombles leading Wolves on hunt for state title

Ava Wombles, left, and McKinley Lowe are spearheading the Pleasant Hill softball team's pursuit of postseason success. | Shane Hulsey photo

PLEASANT HILL, Ill. — McKinley Lowe, Ava Wombles and the Pleasant Hill softball team are on quite a roll. The Wolves are 14-2 and are outscoring opponents by nearly six runs per game. The pitching staff, which consists of Lowe and Wombles, has recorded six shutouts and given up one run on four other occasions,…

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Lowe’s one-hitter features 17 strikeouts, Winchell doubles twice as Wolves pick up pair of victories

Pleasant Hill senior pitcher McKinley Lowe struck out 17 while throwing a one-hitter Saturday against Jerseyville. | Matt Schuckman photo

PIASA, Ill. — The Jerseyville softball players may have thought they’d have a chance to catch up to Pleasant Hill right-hander McKinley Lowe after Anna Kribs fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before getting a single to left field with one out in the first inning. No one else made contact. Lowe orchestrated a…

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Friday Night Lights rewind: Cougars mount another rally, Pleasant Hill field vandalized, Panthers score four defensive TDs

The Highland football team is 2-0 heading into Clarence Cannon Conference play after beating Scotland County 14-6. | Photo courtesy Payton Miller

QUINCY — Call them the Comeback Cougars. Two weeks in a row, the Highland football team has needed to erase a deficit to be able to head into Clarence Cannon Conference play with an unblemished record. Both times, the Cougars have figured out a way to get into the end zone. Last Friday night, the…

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QND’s Bunte, Pleasant Hill’s Lowe and Brown County’s Dunlap earn first-team all-state honors

Quincy Notre Dame sophomore left-hander Caitlin Bunte was named to the Class 2A all-state first team after hitting .620 with 10 home runs and compiling a 16-5 record with a 1.95 ERA. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Quincy Notre Dame sophomore Caitlin Bunte led a trio of area softball players who earned first-team all-state honors from the Illinois Coaches Association. Eight others received second- or third-team honors. Bunte, a left-handed pitcher and outfielder, was named to the Class 2A first team, while Pleasant Hill junior pitcher McKinley Lowe and Brown…

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Tigers use walk-off home run leading off seventh to end Wolves’ season

Pleasant Hill pitcher McKinley Lowe struck out 10 in the Class 1A sectional semifinal loss to Illini Bluffs on Wednesday in Havana, Ill. | Matt Schuckman file photo

HAVANA, Ill. — One pitch, one swing, one sudden ending. Illini Bluffs catcher Lexi Brinkman jumped on the first pitch from Pleasant Hill’s McKinley Lowe in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday and smacked a walk-off home run to center field for a 4-3 victory in the semifinals of the Class 1A Havana softball…

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Quick as a Flachs: Center fielder’s crucial hit helps Raiders fend off challenge from Wolves

Quincy Notre Dame's Mackenzie Flachs claps while looking at the dugout after her double in the third inning of Saturday's game against Pleasant Hill at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The two-run lead vanished, and with it seemed to go with the momentum and the energy the Quincy Notre Dame softball team brought to The Backyard on Saturday. Mackenzie Flachs brought it all back. After Pleasant Hill’s Ava Wombles scored on Jade Peebles single in the top of the third inning to tie…

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Photo gallery: QND softball team collides with Pleasant Hill, Pittsfield at The Backyard

Quincy Notre Dame pitcher Carlee Gilker points to her catcher during Saturday's game against Pittsfield at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — With the postseason looming, a couple of regional title hopefuls went head-to-head Saturday at The Backyard as the Quincy Notre Dame softball team upended Pleasant Hill 11-2 during the QND Slam. The Raiders also beat Pittsfield 13-5. Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman spent time at The Backyard and put together this photo…

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QND’s Cornwell earns first-team all-state, six area softball players receive second-team honors

Quincy Notre Dame senior third baseman/pitcher Eryn Cornwell was named to the Class 2A all-state first team by the Illinois Coaches Association. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Despite a shoulder injury that now has her prepping for surgery, Eryn Cornwell remained a force in the middle of the Quincy Notre Dame softball team’s lineup. Her production resulted in receiving Class 2A first-team all-state honors from the Illinois Coaches Association. QND freshman Caitlin Bunte was a second-team selection, while five area…

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Lucky 13: Mustangs knock Wolves out in regional semifinals by surviving 13-inning marathon

Unity's Taylor Goudschaal, left, hugs teammate Kylee Barry in the center of the infield after the Mustangs upset second-seeded Pleasant Hill 4-0 in a 13-inning marathon in the Class 1A Central Regional semifinals Wednesday in Camp Point, Ill. Photo courtesy Mike Pritchard

CAMP POINT, Ill. — Don’t worry about Brooklynn Howell being ready to pitch come Saturday. Fortunately, the Unity sophomore right-hander will have a couple of days to recover from what was a marvelous — albeit taxing — effort Wednesday afternoon at Central High School. Howell pitched the seventh-seeded Unity softball team to a 4-0, 13-inning…

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Photo gallery: Pritchard captures softball action from Class 1A Central Regional

The Liberty softball players celebrate their 5-4 victory over Central in Wednesday's semifinals of the Class 1A Central Regional in Camp Point, Ill. Photo courtesy Mike Pritchard

CAMP POINT, Ill. — Photographer Mike Pritchard found himself behind the lens of his camera for two epic softball games Wednesday in the Class 1A Central Regional with seventh-seeded Unity upsetting second-seeded Pleasant Hill 4-0 in a 13-inning marathon and fifth-seeded Liberty outlasting third-seeded Central 5-4. Here is a gallery of images Pritchard captured from…

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Camp Point Central shuts out Pleasant Hill

CPC Coach Brad Dixon talks to his team after Friday night's 34-0 win over Pleasant Hill Photo: J. Robert Gough

After rallying for the win in their season opener, the Camp Point Central Panthers didn’t need to come up with any last-minute heroics this week.  Connor Griffin and Issac Genenbacher each ran for two scores and Garrett Williams ran for 118 yards as the Panthers improve to 2-0 with a 34-0 win at Pleasant Hill. …

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